Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

WORLD MARCH COMES TO KOREA

The Yongsan fight has now become a major national issue
Yesterday I spent the afternoon and evening by joining up with the World March for Peace & Nonviolence that has just arrived in South Korea. I will stay with it for the next few days. This morning we head north to the DMZ where we will stay the night and then back to Seoul for more events following that. We spent the night sleeping at a Buddhist Temple outside of Seoul - the heated floors felt good but my back and hips are a bit sore this morning from the hard surface.

I arrived at the World March staging area just in time to join a spirited 5 kilometer bike ride through downtown Seoul that put us in the middle of the busy Saturday traffic and past the US Army base that occupies a large portion of the downtown area. Koreans are not big bicycle riders, they love their cars, so it was an unusual site I am sure to see about 50 bikes taking up a lane of traffic. The fleet of bikes was a revolutionary act.

Also last night we visited the Yongsan neighborhood in Seoul where a massive campaign of resistance is underway. Regular readers of the blog will likely remember my August 15 post that told the story about the five men that were killed by the police when they tried to protect the five story building where they had their small restaurants and other businesses. Since then their wives have maintained constant vigil at the site and people have come from all over the country to resist the destruction of the neighborhood from the huge corporations who want to "redevelop" the whole area and build mega-office buildings on the land.

As we arrived in Yongsan last night the place was jam packed with students, priests, nuns, and supporters from all walks of life. Each evening at 7:00 pm a mass is held and a different organization takes responsibility for the program afterward. Last night was coordinated by students. We plan to return on Monday for a longer visit.

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